The Global Citizen festival was everything you could imagine and more.
On Sunday, I attended the Global Citizen Festival, which was one of the most anticipated music events of the year. The show, which kicked off at 14:00 at FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, was nothing short of amazing. Imagine seeing some of your favourite artists all on one stage!
Although I saw some of my faves at the show, not everything was a hit.
Lives put at risk
If you were following all things Global Citizen, you would have seen that they asked people to get to the stadium early. So, as an excited fan, who was about to see her favourite artist of all time, I made sure that I was there early. However, nothing could have prepared me for those very long queues. Don't get me wrong, I know that standing in long lines is a guarantee, especially when it comes huge music events.
This, however, was not normal. I asked a Metro Police Officer how I could get inside the stadium, and was told to that there was only one way - everyone who attended the concert had to stand in one long line, because other entrances were closed. The Metro Police Officer, who was as shocked as I was, told me that this didn't sit well with her because people's lives were in danger. She said it looked like the VIPs' lives were seen as more valuable than ordinary people's lives, and that wasn't great. Anyway, after enduring the heat and standing there for quite a while, I eventually managed to get inside.
@GlblCtzn You made us fools! We paid a lot of money for this tickets. We didn’t just win them! This queue is ridiculous! We missing lots of artists that we came here for! Rubbish! Rubbish! Fix this shit! #GlobalCitizens #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA— Omphile Letshwiti (@ompslets) December 2, 2018
My excitement was still there when I got inside the stadium and I couldn't wait to see the acts, especially my favouorite. The show kicked off with performance by the legendary Soweto Gospel Choir. We also got to see Wizkid, who performed some of his hit tracks. There was also an Usher and Black Coffee collaboration, which very interesting.
Sho Madjozi was definitely a highlight for me. This lady knows how to rock a stage. I also loved and enjoyed Pharrell Williams' set. My goodness, what a great performer. Although I'm not really an Ed Sheeren fan and I'm only familiar with a few of his songs, I really enjoyed him as a performer. Imagine performing alone, with no dancers or band, just you and your guitar!
Casssper Nyovest also had the crowd eating our of the palm of his hands. He sang some of his hit tracks including Malome, Doc Shebeleza and Monate Mpolaye. Oh, he also collaborated with Chris Martin and Stormzy, and brought out the Mahotela Queens.
Congratulations to #GlobalCitizen for a successful event. With massive performances from local and international acts such as; Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Cassper Nyovest and Beyonce, the #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA didn't fail to deliver ⭕ pic.twitter.com/ZnGTV0h7WA— Tricky News (@trickynews_za) December 3, 2018
Beyoncé and Jay Z
This was, of course, the highlight of my evening. I had been waiting for this moment for years and couldn't believe that it was actually happening. People even cried when they saw her for the first time. I don't blame them, though. You know she's one of the biggest artists in the world so I wouldn't expected anything less from fans.
It was so good to see Mrs Carter on stage, and I was in awe of her talent. She sure knows how to entertain. She even brought out a South African Choir for her Halo performance. Now that was epic. And yes, she and Jay Z performed some of their collabos including songs from their Everything is Love album, Dangerously in Love and Bonnie and Clyde. They closed it off with Forever Young and honestly, I couldn't have imaged a better ending.
FOREVER YOUNG 😭😭😭😭 This sample is so important to us 80s babies.. Sentimental.. sing it!!!!! pic.twitter.com/NygatFlVL7— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi) December 2, 2018
And then there was crime
No one could have prepared fans for the mess that took place after the show ended. Imagine watching an epic one in a lifetime music festival and experiencing crime soon after. Sadly, as much as these events are for fun and celebration, others see them as an opportunity for crime.
Although I didn't experience anything negative after the show - unless you count being stuck in traffic for two hours just outside the stadium - a lot of people were unfortunately not as lucky. So many people got robbed after the show, and this is no laughing matter.
By the Sasol garage on Nasrec road. I witnessed at least 5 robberies. People screaming running and almost getting trampled— Thandizinto (@ngiyaphoxana) December 2, 2018
There was a girl who was mugged and they snatched her phone behind Sasol. When she tried running after her stuff, they took her handbag and weave, just for ambience 😭💔😭💔 #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA pic.twitter.com/VJnUVRGuyA— 🐾Frank Gallagher II🐾 (@_nkemelo_23) December 3, 2018
#GlobalCitizenFestivalSA didn't think this parking situation properly.. making our sisters walk long distances in the dark.. our sisters are being mugged, raped and stabbed.. cars are being hijacked. I'm angry!!— Kabomo (@Kabomo) December 3, 2018
No lie #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA was great but it was poorly organized. We nearly got mugged and witnessed 3 muggings. It was chaos and we felt so unsafe! Security was no where in sight and those that were around were not helpful. The uber zone nje was just a disaster 😤— Badassery (@xjmulan) December 3, 2018
For such a big show, you'd expect tight security. But no, there was no such a thing and many people were crime victims. Besides all the drama at the end, this was a great initiative and a lot of people's lives are going to change for the better. The late president Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 years old this year, was honoured in a beautiful and memorable way. Although Tata is no longer with us, his legacy lives on.
Through the festival, a lot of financial pledges were made and will go towards important causes.
Thank you @Vodacom for pledging R500,000,000 to fight gender-based violence, enhance sanitation in schools, and enhance digital literacy for teachers, learners, youth, and in early childhood development centres. #BeTheGeneration pic.twitter.com/M38nLJXGKJ— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) December 2, 2018
Belgium helped us launch our #SheIsEqual campaign – and today, Deputy Prime Minister @alexanderdecroo just pledged another €43 million to create a world free from gender inequality! #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA pic.twitter.com/DCTlSpq0cZ— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) December 2, 2018
In a message to #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces her country will:— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) December 2, 2018
☑️Commit €63M to @IFAD
☑️Double its funding of @GPforEducation from €18M to €37M
☑️Increase its funding of @EduCannotWait by €15M for a total of €31M pic.twitter.com/Wic0Vj04Qc
Main Image Credit: Raven Varona/Parkwood/PictureGroup